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Made in jp
[MOD]
Anti-piracy Officer






Somewhere in southern England.

Olympe Viola Reese turned smoothly into the car park of the Police Department, found a slot next to a Tesla, and plugged her Vespa Elettrica into the power point to charge.

It was her first day on the new job. She had arrived early, to be sure of making her time despite the fact that it was day 4 of Shark Week, and she wanted to check the powder room facilities before any crisis could arise. She was dressed very carefully, light make-up, simple gold studs in her ears, and her favourite French blue trouser suit over a plain white blouse and flat heel boots, a handle bag with shoulder strap for her girl stuff. Her S&W Shield 2.0 in 10mm caliber was clipped into her waistband under her jacket skirt.

Having cleared security Olympe strode confidently to the onboarding interview with her new boss.

“Tell me about yourself, Ms Reese. There is no doubt you have experience. How much undercover work have you done?” Henderson asked, and offered her a glass of water. She took a sip to gain time to compose her response.

“Thanks for your compliment on my CV, Mr Henderson. To flesh out what the paperwork says, I worked for a private agency in London for two years after graduating. We did a lot of financial fraud cases, which depended on gathering inside information and doing analysis of the accounts.

“In one of them I had to be a secretary. That was easy, because it was a rather old-fashioned kind of firm. All the directors were men, and they liked the junior female staff to show a pretty leg. I got the job for my high heels as much as my office skills. That was okay, I can play at being a girly-girl, in fact it's fun sometimes, and useful."

She gave a sunny smile.

"Their security was lax, passwords on Post-it notes, that kind of thing. It wasn’t hard to get into their secret fies. One day I took in a spare micro-SD in a dual-sim smartphone, swiped all the important data onto it and swallowed it before going home, just in case they wanted to check my handbag on the way out. I got the chip back the next day, with the help of a colander.”

Judging by the moue of distaste which crossed Olympe’s face, that had not been a pleasant task.

"Anyway, we got them. I did a few more like that. I was good at playing the ditzy blonde. You let men think you’re an airhead, and it’s surprising what you can get away with."

I'm writing a load of fiction. My latest story starts here... This is the index of all the stories...

We're not very big on official rules. Rules lead to people looking for loopholes. What's here is about it. 
   
Made in jp
[MOD]
Anti-piracy Officer






Somewhere in southern England.

“What other kind of undercover work have you done apart from office jobs?” Henderson asked.

“There was a case where we investigated a head patting cafe.”

“Head patting cafe!?”

“I know, right? It was run by some Japanese people, of course. They catered to tourists during the day, and expense account businessmen in the evening. The concept was you got a meal or maybe just coffee, and for an extra fee, someone would pat your head. I know it sounds odd, that’s why we were sent in to take a look. The landlord had a idea that maybe it was a front for something in the vice line, either prostitution or drugs, or both. Like happens sometimes with Karaoke boxes.

She uncrossed her legs and recrossed them the other way.

“We rented an office opposite to do surveillance, traced their contacts, checked all the public paperwork and so on, but we got nothing. We decided we had to put someone inside. I managed to get hired, partly because a lot of Japanese men really go for a tall blonde. I hadn’t learnt Japanese yet, but they were fine with English and French. I did their training course, and became a star head patter. When I was trusted I was able to snap pics of their accounts and so on, which I just uploaded to the cloud and erased from my phone immediately. In the end the whole thing was completely innocent. They were just a bunch of oddballs who believed they could make the world a better place by patting people’s heads. They took it very seriously. I think there’s something in it, actually."

She smiled at the memory of the odd but satisfying job of being a professional head patter. That strange case had triggered her interest in Japan, which eventually led her to spend a year there learning the language.

I'm writing a load of fiction. My latest story starts here... This is the index of all the stories...

We're not very big on official rules. Rules lead to people looking for loopholes. What's here is about it. 
   
Made in jp
[MOD]
Anti-piracy Officer






Somewhere in southern England.

“For another different example, my last big case involved a casino. I had to get a job as a bunny girl, would you believe? I mean, I’ve got the legs but not the bust, really. The costume has a padded bodice, so it worked out okay with the right bra. You would be surprised what a girl can do with the right bra, well, maybe not I guess, you look like you've been around. I’ve got a pic if you want to see it.”

She flips through her smartphone album and shows off a photo of three bunny girls.

“I’m the one in the dark blue outfit.”

It hardly looks like the same girl as the pixie haircut blonde being interviewed. The bunny girl’s hair is radically darker and longer, her heavy make-up changes the face, and her bust seems… completely adequate.

“I did the bunny gig because the other girl detectives flatly refused. I had to shave my armpits and legs. That was a nuisance because I don’t normally bother. I was a cocktail waitress, so I could go all over the place, taking and delivering orders. There are plenty of leg men in the world, though, and I got attention despite not being impressive up top. I wore a lightweight digital recorder under the wig, and that's how we got a lot of the basic evidence, clues that lead us to more detailed stuff. We nailed them good. When it was over I kept the bunny outfit as a souvenir."

It was impossible to see if Olympe’s legs were currently shaved or not, owing to her trousers and boots which covered them totally.

“That was my last case with the agency, because I made enough from the fees and reward money to take a year off. I went to Tokyo to live with my brother and his wife, to learn Japanese. I did some head patting on the side, to keep my hand in, and it was good for language practice too. That was in a hostess club in Kabukicho, which sounds kind of sleazy, but I stayed out of that side of things. It was mostly pouring drinks and listening to drunk businessmen talk about their crappy day. I got a lot of invitations but I didn’t take them up. I had a Japanese boyfriend and stayed faithful, until I went home and left him."

She paused, took another sip of water and regarded Jason evenly.

“What kind of undercover work do you mostly do, Mr Henderson?”

I'm writing a load of fiction. My latest story starts here... This is the index of all the stories...

We're not very big on official rules. Rules lead to people looking for loopholes. What's here is about it. 
   
Made in jp
[MOD]
Anti-piracy Officer






Somewhere in southern England.

Olympe Viola Reese was working undercover again. Her new temporary boss, the target in other words, was a rather sleazy Japanese businessman called Suzuki who had possible yakuza links and an eye for tall blondes in miniskirt suits, which was how she got the job as much as for her language skills.

At the end of her first week, Suzuki wanted to take Olympe to late night Karaoke, “to help form a good working relationship with his new colleague,” he smarmed but she knew those tricks from her time in Kabukicho, where she hostessed for money and language practice, and to keep her head patting skills sharp. You never go to a Karaoke box with a horny boss unless you actually want to be groped at the very least. The individual sound-proofed rooms are very handy for assignations, and cheaper than Love Hotels, which is why so many Japanese high school students lose their virginity on a sofa to the unvoiced track of a recent pop hit.

*There’s a fething limit to this job* she thought, and suggested instead they visit a pole-dancing club, an idea he was very pleased with. She managed to spend a lot of Suzuki-san’s expense account enjoying the athletic gyrations of the dancing girls, while quietly pouring most of her drinks into a convenient pot-plant. Sometimes it was quite handy being bisexual. She wondered if she should take up pole-dancing, it was supposed to be good exercise, especially for the core muscles.

Still, she had to keep sweet-talking and flattering Suzuki in a mixture of his bad English and her good Japanese, until she got the necessary info recorded on the minute digital audio unit hidden in her wig. To ensure he would not remember spilling those clues, she mixed whisky highballs and matched him drink for drink. Luckily he already had a good start on her.

By 4 a.m. the target was only semi-conscious and she didn’t have to keep knocking his paws away, which was good because he had this joke move where he whipped his hand off her thigh just as she slapped, so she ended up hitting herself. She took $50 from his wallet and poured him into a taxi with instructions to deliver him to his long-suffering wife in the suburbs. She composed a brief, secure report to her controller, attached the audio file, and headed for a place where she could get a non-alcoholic drink and something to eat.

Sadie’s Diner beckoned, the kind of joint where Olympe had spent a surprising amount of time since she became a detective, because you could get refuelled at any hour of day or night, and sometimes you met some interesting people. It was a sort of waystation. Travellers bound on all types of errands, devious, weird, horrific or mundane, met and mixed for a spell, and perhaps sparked some change in each others’ lives. Plus, there was a professional angle to it. If you kept your ears open, you could learn all sorts of stuff about what was going on.

I'm writing a load of fiction. My latest story starts here... This is the index of all the stories...

We're not very big on official rules. Rules lead to people looking for loopholes. What's here is about it. 
   
Made in jp
[MOD]
Anti-piracy Officer






Somewhere in southern England.

Bonfire Night / Fireworks


The disaster at the vampire ball was all over the local Twitterverse, thanks to reports from numerous bystanders. Some anonymous rich bitch had reserved the entire heritage fairground on the edge of town for a big, invitation only Halloween party. The well-heeled guests wore elaborate costumes, drank blood-themed cocktails, and cavorted among the carousels and side-show kiosks.

Something went badly wrong, or maybe it was deliberate. At any rate the fair caught fire. The flames jumped quickly from one dry wooden ride to the next. Panicked revellers fled in their fancy dress; vampires, werewolves, James Bond, a stage magician in top hat and tailcoat, a monochrome film noir detective towing a sexy red devil girl. The images were blurry, badly exposed due to the hellish, flickering infra-red.

The cosplay refugees dashed past the onlookers, refusing all offers of help, and dispersed swiftly and guiltily into the night. Fire and Rescue Service crews were on site now, searching the ashes for human remains and traces of accelerant.

Pia strongly suspected a scam. The carnival company was known to be financially deep underwater. The management's plan to turn the site into a novelty wedding venue had been an expensive failure. Business premises with desperate owners have an odd tendency to 'go on fire' of their own accord. She decided to reach out to the insurers and offer her professional services. She checked their contact details, and sent an introductory email.

It was sad news despite the opportunity for more work. She had visited the place on a lazy summer afternoon. It reminded her of the Hanayashiki funfair in Asakusa, where she and Hisashi went for a late spring date. They larked like children on the old-fashioned rides, calling out their delight in Japanese and French. After a marvellous dinner and wine at Les Deux Magots in Shibuya, they walked hand in hand up Dogenzaka Hill to Hotel Peach Pie, where a two hour ‘rest’ was 6,500 yen.

After joyful sex, Hisashi suddenly and seriously asked Olympe to marry him. She wept -- with joy he thought, and he hugged her tenderly -- but then she refused. Shocked, he asked why. She said she had decided a month ago to return home. He burst into a hot flood of tears. Sobbing, he tried his best to convince her to stay, reminding her of the wonderful times they had spent together, predicting the future they could have, a house, a baby, but she would not be persuaded. She was young and foolish. She wanted to go back to the detective life.

Next he blamed her for stringing him along. Olympe defended herself, though she knew she was in the wrong because it was her choice to prolong the affair in bad faith. There is no anger like unjustifiable anger. She flew into a rage. They left the hotel shouting furiously at each other in a mixture of English, French and Japanese, to stalk off in opposite directions.

She never saw him again. There was no chance for a change of mind, a reconciliation. Angry and hopeless, Hisashi threw himself in front of an express train that same lonely night, a bitter reproach to Olympe’s thoughtlessness.

*It was my fault. All my fault. Hikaru warned me not to break a boy's heart just for some holiday fun. It's the worst thing I've ever done.*

Pia looked at her tired face in the mirror. A tear drew a dark furrow of eyeliner down her cheek, like a dead rocket, spent of joy, trailing smoke out of the festive sky.

I'm writing a load of fiction. My latest story starts here... This is the index of all the stories...

We're not very big on official rules. Rules lead to people looking for loopholes. What's here is about it. 
   
Made in jp
[MOD]
Anti-piracy Officer






Somewhere in southern England.

Mizu Shobai


The meeting room door opened. A civilian lady clerk came in, followed by an east asian looking young man in a smart suit and tie.

“Chief Detective Davis, this is Mr Komai from Tokyo.” The clerk went out, leaving the Japanese man standing at attention. His face seemed cool and impassive, but it was just the result of massive jetlag combining with a natural Japanese reticence to cover up his nervousness. Tokyo is 15 hours ahead of Chicago. His body thought it was around four in the morning.

Olympe did a double-take at the name and stared at the newcomer with wide eyes. Before Ms Davis could introduce the man she broke out in rapid Japanese.

“Komai-san! Doshite koko kitan desu ka?”
Spoiler:
`Mr Komai, how/why did you come here?`


“Hikoki de,” he returned with a light smile.
Spoiler:
`By plane.`


“Nande sonna joudan to itte kai! Doshite ‘tte, doshite?” Her tone of voice sharpened and the words rattled like hailstones.
Spoiler:
`Why do you make a joke like that? Why, I said, why?`


“Chicago de shigoto ga aru yo ni. Boku ga keikan da yo na.”
Spoiler:
`There is work for me in Chicago. I am a policeman, after all.`


“Mou wakatta… Da kedo… Nan da yo! Atashi no koto no wa?” Pia almost stamped her foot in annoyance at Komai’s flippant responses.
Spoiler:
`I knew that already… Even so… Why!? Is it about me?`


“Gomen, hontou ni gomen. Reese-san ni bikkuri o suru no yotei ga nakatta jan. Sumimasen.” He bowed to her. “Chicago ni wariaterareta. Koukan no purogramu da na.”
Spoiler:
`Sorry, I’m really sorry. I didn’t plan to surprise you. I apologise. I have been transferred to Chicago. It’s an exchange program.`


Pia pouted and sniffed a sharp, audible breath. Her face told of a girl on the brink of a bad snit. Then she recovered her composure, but her eyes were twinkling with water. She turned to Ms Davis, blinked twice and bowed her head.

“Ma’am, I’m sorry for my outburst. I knew Mr Komai in Tokyo. It was a shock to see him here suddenly.”

Olympe waited silently to be dismissed. Her exchange with Takayuki had been out of line in all respects. Her mind was in turmoil.

*Did Taka-kun follow me to Chicago? What does it mean? I don’t know what I want to say to him. He’s going to be a detective here? We’ll be colleagues. He might even sit at the empty desk next to mine…*

Jason spoke to Takayuki in rudimentary Japanese, greeting him.

*Jason’s trying his best to welcome the new guy,* she thought. *I must support him however I can.*

Her mind began to calm. She anticipated rebukes from Jason and Ms Davis but she figured she could plead the excuse of her shoulder wound, and they would make allowances. As a precaution she pinged a quick text message of apology to Jason, then wished she hadn’t because it seemed impersonal and evasive not to face him. Her mind wandered somewhat as she waited for orders.

*My shoulder hurts! Can’t we have a coffee break? I need a wee. Is Shark Week really over?*

* * * * *

Davis dismissed everyone without telling Pia off. Jason took Taka-kun to start getting him on-boarded. Pia quickly returned to her desk via the ladies’ lavatory and the coffee room. She arrived minus a panty liner, because it turned out Shark Week was not quite over, which was bad, but she was up a black coffee and a free cinnamon roll, which was good. The first thing she did was to take a paracetamol for her shoulder, then she booked an unmarked police town car for the afternoon, and began to search flights and hotels for Paris and Beirut. It didn’t take long to put together some useful information. She copied it into a file for later use.

Finally Pia updated her notes on the De La Croix case, then she was at a loose end, waiting for Jason to come back with Taka-kun. She stood looking out of the window at the distant lake shore, wondering where Jason and Taka-kun had gone, if they were talking about her.

* * * * *

Jason left Pia to take care of the administrative duties of the case because he didn’t like paperwork and he knew that she would cut through it like a machete. He took Komai along with him in his car to Stan's Donuts for a morning coffee and some donuts. Asking one of the staff for a tough guy cappucino and six assorted donuts to share, he grabbed a quiet corner table and brought out a sheaf of official forms, firearms license, concealed carry permit and so on, already filled in and needing to be reviewed and signed by the Japanese detective. Komai asked for ‘hot coffee’ and was given a medium size cup of black filter, which satisfied him.

"So Komai-san, what brings you to the Chicago police department? What makes you ideal for this job? You and Olympe, or Pia as I like to call her, have known each other for a while, so it seems. Are you here on your own, or with family? Did you have a relationship with Pia before, or know her from college?” he asked. “I know some of these questions may seem personal in nature, but I hope you understand that it is my duty to ask them. It’s part of the process of getting to know new recruits.”

Komai drank half his cup quickly before replying. He was feeling very sleepy and needed the caffeine.

“Yes, Sergeant Henderson, I understand. I am here because the Tokyo Metropolitan Police wants to improve its criminal investigations. For a long time there have been various difficulties in areas such as gathering of evidence and sharing of information locally and nationally. Therefore a number of detectives have been sent to various police forces in the USA and Europe, to learn new methods. I have to work in Chicago for a while, understand the way things are done here, and write a report for my superiors. I was selected for this duty partly because I can speak English fairly well, also I have a good record of investigations, and I have no family to bring with me. Eventually I will go home.”

He paused to eat a bite of donut.

“I met Reese-san… I will call her Olympe as that is the style in Chicago. I met Olympe in a hostess bar in Kabukicho. That is an adult entertainment district where there are many businesses such as massage parlours and 'pink salons' where men can have their urges relieved in certain ways in exchange for cash. This is the Japanese style of sex industry. We think it is better to have it legally controlled than operate in the shadows. The police are involved in checking and licensing that kind of adult business. I have done such visits as part of my duty. However it is not always successful.”

Komai looked directly at Jason for a moment, trying to judge the American’s reaction, then sipped more coffee and continued his story.

“Kabukicho is not only about the sex industry. There are also many cocktail bars, restaurants, music venues, and hostess clubs. At a hostess club you pay to sit and talk with pretty women. They are dressed in gorgeous party dresses. They wear full make-up, jewelry, and elaborate hairdos. They pour your drinks, listen to your troubles, and flirt with you. There are also “host” clubs, where handsome young men in smart suits perform the same services for ladies. Everyone understands that it is a game, not real, just playacting. After an hour or two the client leaves, and another one arrives, and the girl is just as pleasant and flirty with her new guest as with the first one.”

He finished his coffee.

“I went to the hostess bar for two reasons. One was to check that everything was being done correctly. That all the girls were over 20, for instance. The other was to fish for information that might be useful in certain criminal investigations. Hostesses often hear secrets from their clients. Sometimes they may pass these details on to the police, depending on their relationships in the network of legal and sub-legal authorities which exists in the… We call it the mizu shobai, the ‘water trade’. That is the name for the late night world of adult pleasures of many kinds, from a simple cocktail bar to a swingers’ sex club. The governing network of the mizu shobai involves the police, the yakuza, local government officials, loose groupings of mama-sans, an association of Korean owners, and others. There are allies and enemies, with family and social obligations in all directions. It is very complicated, and very Japanese. It may surprise you, but it is not usually very violent. Japan is a peaceful country. However, people who step on the wrong toes too hard have been known to disappear.”

The waitress came and refilled Komai’s cup. He thanked her with a smile and nod of his head, and sipped the hot black coffee.

“I had heard about a new hostess, a foreigner, a tall blonde, whose Japanese was not good but she could speak French and English. It was Olympe, of course. I interviewed her. She had taken the job for fun, to practice her Japanese. She was popular despite her low language skill because she was very charming, and many Japanese men like to talk with a tall blonde foreign girl. It is quite a popular fantasy. I found that Olympe understood the work well. She was sly, manipulative, very good at flirting. She knew how to read a man and take advantage of him. These may sound like character defects, but they are very good skills for a hostess. As I said before, it is a game. The client knows the hostess is only pretending to be concerned about him, but if she does it convincingly and sincerely for the time he is with her, then he will go away happy, and probably he will come back to see the same girl. I do not mean to say that Olympe is a bad person because she is like that. She is also kind, loyal, hard-working, generous, brave, and she believes in standing up for justice. That is why she became a detective in the first place, when she was in London.”

Komai ate the rest of his donut. Jason offered another, which he accepted with a smile.

“I visited Olympe a number of times to get to know her. In the end I recruited her as an informer. She did not accept any money for the work. She did it to help the fight against sex trafficking, which is a problem in Tokyo involving girls from many countries such as China and Romania. Olympe gave me some clues which were important in a trafficking case. This got her into some danger, I don’t think she realised how bad. I could not have a pretty blonde foreigner vanish and turn up dead in an oil drum six months later, so I had to get her out. She had to leave the country and let things cool down. This caused a sudden break-up with her Japanese boyfriend. He took it very badly and unfortunately he committed suicide. I felt very sorry, though really Hisashi-san overreacted to the situation. If he had waited, things would have come back to normal. Olympe blamed herself, though. We have rounded up the gangsters involved, and Olympe is now able to return to Japan safely.”

He looked quite sombre at the memory of that dreadful time.

“So, Sergeant Henderson, now you know the story of Olympe in Tokyo. I am sorry to have spoken for so long. Perhaps we should look at these documents now. I am sorry but I think I may fall asleep if I do not have some more coffee. The jetlag is very bad.”


I'm writing a load of fiction. My latest story starts here... This is the index of all the stories...

We're not very big on official rules. Rules lead to people looking for loopholes. What's here is about it. 
   
Made in jp
[MOD]
Anti-piracy Officer






Somewhere in southern England.

Snowed In at the Beach

*I’m too good at this undercover stuff,* Olympe told herself, *That’s why they keep choosing me. Another anime convention, at some place called the Silverquill Beach Resort Hotel, and the target is [REDACTED FOR LEGAL REASONS]. Thank feck it’s not some ski resort or whatever, I hate the bloody mountains! At least I don’t have to be a bunny girl again and shave my legs. My Miraculous Ladybug costume still fits perfectly! With luck I will find another hunky Cat Noir to hook up with...*

She fell asleep in the taxi, and eventually was decanted, yawning in a snowstorm, in front of a wide two-storey hotel. It looked pretty hokey, inspired by log cabin design. Olympe paid the massive bill, pocketed the receipt for expenses, and trudged to the entrance towing her luggage.

*It’s a bit fecking parky! What’s all this snow for anyway, where’s the sun? I’ve never seen such a useless beach resort!”

The storm lifted for a minute and the view cleared briefly, revealing a broad expanse of steep, pine-clad white slopes and the edge of a mighty precipice, beyond which only the void and the howling wind could be sensed.

OH CRAPPP!1!

The acrophobic detective closed her eyes, put her head down and ran into the hotel’s lobby; she believed her life depended on it! Fortunately the doors opened automatically, though her thick, blue-black wig would have cushioned her head from an impact. Once inside, the feeling of warmth and enclosure began to sooth her spirits. She squared her shoulders and approached the reception counter with a cheerful smile.

“Hello… Samantha. Please would you check me in? Here’s my voucher.”

“I’m sorry, Ms, um, Ladybug but you’re in the wrong hotel. This is the Silverquill Ridge Resort, not the Silverquill Beach.”

“Great. Okay. Have you got any rooms?”

“Yes, Ms Ladybug, but only the cheaper ones at the back, with no mountain view.”

“Perfect! Please check me in. Here’s my driver’s licence for ID, and bill everything to this card.”

Olympe dispensed $10 notes liberally, because it was all on expenses, and a few minutes later she was safely installed in a nice suite with a minibar and no view. She connected her mil-spec smartphone to the hotel’s WiFi network and opened a VPN channel. No connection. The storm had severed the hotel’s links to the outside world.

“Brilliant! Brilliant! Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant!!!”










This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/01/06 11:25:36


I'm writing a load of fiction. My latest story starts here... This is the index of all the stories...

We're not very big on official rules. Rules lead to people looking for loopholes. What's here is about it. 
   
Made in jp
[MOD]
Anti-piracy Officer






Somewhere in southern England.

Olympe stood at her window with a glass of Glenfiddich 15yo Solera Reserve, watching the storm whip snow through the evergreens.

*It’s like that scene in Aliens, or er, IDK, Fargo or something... Ice Station Zebra,* She shivered and put her glass down. *What’s that one in the mountain hotel? Kubrick. Jack Nicholson. -- ‘Here’s Johnny!’ -- Anyway, no use getting pissed, I need to figure out what to do.*

She posted messages on different social media apps and email, hoping something might get through to her controller, then revised her costume. She doffed her Ladybug suit and put on her Marinette outfit of pastel pink Capri jeans, white tee-shirt and unbuttoned dark grey blazer. Apart from the wig and coloured contact lenses it was a lot more ordinary than the scarlet and black Ladybug suit.

*The storm might last a couple of days. Room service is always rubbish. I’ll go and get something decent to eat and drink.* She went down to the bar, to see what other refugees from the storm there might be.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/01/07 22:53:27


I'm writing a load of fiction. My latest story starts here... This is the index of all the stories...

We're not very big on official rules. Rules lead to people looking for loopholes. What's here is about it. 
   
Made in jp
[MOD]
Anti-piracy Officer






Somewhere in southern England.

Pia had the odd talent of speaking English with a French accent when she wanted to. She got it from her mother, who had never lost her native Parisian diction. She could also speak French with a British accent. These foreign cadences were sometimes useful for disguises, and could be used for flirting with native speakers, who often found them charming.

Now she got herself into character as Marinette, the French teenager who changes into Ladybug to fight evil. She practised wide-eyed expressions, enhanced by anime contact lenses, and tried out some stock phrases in accent: “I shall say zhis only once!” She slotted her Miraculous earrings into place, and slung her natty bag, which contained some useful equipment, over her shoulder.

Once Pia felt fully in role she went down to seek food and drink. The large restaurant/bar area was practically deserted. There were only two other guests there, an older white guy in rather smart clothes, and a younger, tall black woman with straight long hair and piercing eyes. They were sitting apart from each other, which made it difficult to approach either one of them without it seeming a slight to the other.

Pia went to the bar to ask for a small glass of house red wine. The bartender carded her, which pleased her greatly. She wrote a large tip onto the bill and charged it to her room. The wine was average, certainly not bad but Pia decided to order something better if she wanted to drink another glass.

She went to the log fire. It was the type that’s open on all sides with a hood above. Pia leant forwards to warm her hands, which gave her companions a view of taut butt wrapped in pink denim, then turned around to warm her backside and see if they made any reaction.

“How lovely a fire! It is so, so cold outside. I call myself Marinette, I think I am here by an erreur, and now I am attrapped by storm. My phone has no bars.”

I'm writing a load of fiction. My latest story starts here... This is the index of all the stories...

We're not very big on official rules. Rules lead to people looking for loopholes. What's here is about it. 
   
Made in jp
[MOD]
Anti-piracy Officer






Somewhere in southern England.

A waiter arrived, bringing the black woman a plateful of chili on grilled cheese sandwich. It seemed an odd combination, but Pia reflected on Japanese dishes such as Omurice Curry and Curry Udon.

*It’s so wrong, yet it seems so right! she thought, Perhaps I should have the same… Indians eat lots of curry, so I believe. Is it a dish for hot climates? What is good for snow like this? Her upbringing in temperate regions had not fitted the girl detective for the heat and cold which had to be endured in other countries. In Britain we have an awful lot of weather but it isn’t extreme…*

The storm howled outside the picture windows, thankfully obscuring the view with scurrying snowflakes. Marinette approached the elegant girl.

“Pardonnez moi, Mademoiselle, I am fascinate by your choice of meal. I have to order my own dinner. May I sit and talk with you? Good conversation is the spark of appetite.”

*I just made that up but it sounds pretty cool. Maybe I’m the next Oscar Wilde. Maybe I drank too much Glenfiddich wtf.*

Pia assumed permission and took a seat next to the black girl. She looked for the waiter and ordered a Croque Madame with Chili, a side salad, and a bottle of a hearty Cotes du Rhones. The waiter brought the wine quickly and uncorked it. He poured for Pia and she indicated him to serve her companion too.

“Please allow me to be so bold as to offer you this wine. It is French, very good of course, you will be warmed, we need it, in this climate.”

Marinette’s presentation was wobbling a little. The teenage girl was socially awkward, but Pia was such a flirt she could not help but try and engage with other people.

*Fuccit, I’m out of character. Gud thing we’re not at the anime convention. No-one will notice though, because they aren’t nerds like me.* She smiled and sipped her wine, waiting for her food to arrive. *Goddess, I’m so hungry!* When it came, she tore into the Curry Croque like a starving bear.

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Somewhere in southern England.

“Oui, asseyez-vous, what’s your name? Or should I call you Mademoiselle étrange? I’m iishe. Food is a topic I’m always willing to talk about.” The black girl sipped the rich wine and commented, “Cherries, pear, plum, delicious! ”

Pia nommed the Chili Croque 一 it was surprisingly good 一 and sipped her chonky red wine. iishe had some French, it seemed, though clearly not up to Pia’s native level, so she returned the girl’s sally in her French accented English.

“Ah well, I am supposed to be Marinette Dupard-Cheng, oo is zhe Miraculous Ladybug. I thought zhis will be an anime convention but some’ow I ’ave come to the wrong ‘otel. I wanted to be at the warm beach, I ‘ate zhe cold, cold montagne. Zhere is no point in doing a cosplay now because no-one will understand. My real name is Viola.”

Pia ate slower as the edge came off her appetite. She thought of other unlikely combos: Sushi omelette, spaghetti and Marmite sauce, Steak Tartare with grated chocolate, Brussels sprouts and Roquefort cheese.

“iishe, if you are interest in food, I ‘ave some ideas for other meals.” She explained a few of them. “What do you think? Would the kitchen be complaisant?

There was a discreet commotion among the staff. Service had been slow; now more waiters and maids appeared. They were going around in twos at that pace, just between a fast walk and a jog, you use when you’re investigating a possible emergency and don’t want to alarm the guests. Each pair had a torch and a walky-talky. Obviously a methodical search was in effect. The buddy system and scared faces showed it wasn’t a lost kitten situation.

“Iishe, what’s ‘appening? Is zhere some kind of problème do you sink?

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/01/12 06:10:44


I'm writing a load of fiction. My latest story starts here... This is the index of all the stories...

We're not very big on official rules. Rules lead to people looking for loopholes. What's here is about it. 
   
Made in jp
[MOD]
Anti-piracy Officer






Somewhere in southern England.

Iishe advised against looking into the trouble but whatever she said, she was only a civilian. Pia felt she had to investigate. *It’s time I did some pro bono work.* It was an important principle of Kuudere detecting.

“I am sorree, iishe, but I must go to put on zhe powder to my nose. I will come back bientot.”

Leaving the rest of the wine she wedged $20 under her plate, and surreptitiously followed a footman and girl receptionist who were just passing. They led her through a Staff Only door, to a service corridor with various cryptically labelled doors. The man opened the first one and went in. Turning to look back down the passage, the girl noticed Pia.

“Who are you? No guests allowed in this area!”

“I came in by erreur, Mademoiselle. Please do not send me back en seul, I am scary of zhis place! May I remain with you, I implore you? You look so kind a personne.”

There was a sudden horrified shout from inside the storeroom.

“fething Hell Amy! You gotta see this. No, you don’t gotta see this, actually. Stay outside.” The guy came out, white as the cliche sheet. “Who’s that kid?”

Pia beamed at the unwitting compliment and tried to maximise her winsomeness with a cute, girlish smile, twisting one toecap on the floor.

“I am zjoost some keed, Monsieur…”

“She’s just some kid, Malcolm. Let her stay with us to be safe. What did you find in there?”

“A body.”

“Jesus!” the receptionist said, “Who is it? Why are they in there? What the feth is going on?”

“I dunno, Amy!!! The face...” Suddenly Malcolm doubled over and retched rancid bile onto the cement floor. Acrid fumes filled the air.

Pia threw open the door. The corpse was only recognisable as a woman because of her skirt. The head looked half ripped off, and the torso savaged as if by a bear. Pia had seen some pretty badly mutilated cadavers during her time with the Chicago department of detectives; this was up there with them. Bears didn’t stash their kills inside locked storerooms, though.

“Feccing great! We’ve got a maniac on the loose.”

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/01/13 04:59:33


I'm writing a load of fiction. My latest story starts here... This is the index of all the stories...

We're not very big on official rules. Rules lead to people looking for loopholes. What's here is about it. 
   
 
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